Stafford Hut | Southern West Coast

A splendid hut adjacent, almost, to the superb coastline only four hours from the road. Sounds great. And it really is a Top 5 rated hut.

Yup, it’s a goodie. Built in 2009, it has big double-glazed windows, good bunks and benches, fly screens, a pity they don’t keep out the sandflies, and a resident hut surfboard.

However, she’s an effort to get in. Once you hit Smoothwater Stream, there is a perilous coastal route that can only be scrambled on either side of low tide. People have died on the route in recent years.

The alternative is plenty of creek walking, so wet feet as a given. Once over the low Stafford Saddle, the track is mostly in the creek bed, with few markers provided and some windfalls to negotiate.

Only for trampers with some experience of New Zealand trail finding. Then again that coast and hut are a wondrous thing.

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category . . . standard hut

hut fee . . . 1 standard hut ticket or backcountry hut pass, free to camp

booking . . . not required

elevation . . . 2 m

bunks . . . 6 mattresses

built . . . 2009

heating . . . firebox

water . . . tap on 500 litre rainwater tank

toilet . . . longdrop

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